Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Meeting July 25, 2019

Columbia Association Board of Directors

Meeting, July 25, 2019

NANCY’S NOTES (Click here for the agenda and background packet.)

Resident Speakout

There were no residents present to speakout.

Reports/Presentations – Financial Reports

FY2019 Audited Financial Statements and FY2019 4th Quarter Financial Report


The Audit committee reviewed the 4th quarter financial report. The committee met with external auditors.  CA staff received high marks for doing the right thing and following all regulations.  The statements were submitted to the Board.

The Board asked for clarification of Board expenses.  The budget for the Board is in the neighborhood of $1 million.  However, most of that is administrative. Board members are not paid to serve the community.  Members get free individual memberships and a gift card that can only be spent on CA programs or on CA products.

Reports/Presentations – Dashboard and Quarterly Update on Membership Information

This is the first time in a year that there is no renovation going on – however, construction has begun again at Supreme Sports Club.   Clarabridge information is in the packet on the CA Board website.  It shows how popular the Athletic Club and Long Reach Tennis Club are.   Golf saw a 20% increase.  The bridges and improved grass are helping both golf clubs improve.  As age increases, net score increases.  The older members are the happier members.  In the summer, golfers and swimmers or water sports members are heard from more often.  In the winter, people using the fitness facilities respond more.

There was a question about the little cash that CA keeps on hand.  CA has a line of credit that is used if funds are needed.  Because interest rates are very low now, it makes sense to use that rather than have a lot of cash sitting and waiting for a crisis.

Sport and Fitness costs and fees don’t match.  If membership fees are pushed up, it could damage CA’s impact on the community.  CA wants people to join the recreational facilities.   Fees and costs must be balanced.  CA has been taking a hit on costs of pools and other facilities but it is part of the Columbia Association’s identity and service to community.  The struggle each year at budget time is determining if or by how much fees need to be raised.

Board Action:  Board Votes 

Budget Parameters, Annual Charge Rate and Cap for the Draft FY2021 Budget

There was discussion about raising the rate $.01.  There are costs associated with climate change that can’t be pin pointed.  There are also other needs that need to be met, i.e. the neighborhood centers improvements and an elevator for Town Center to name just a few.

This vote didn’t pass but it would have increased the average annual fee to CA by $20 a year.  At the same time, it would have given CA funds for the unexpected climate change costs.    Be prepared.  There will be further discussion in the next budget year about raising the rate.  For an additional $20 a year, residents in Columbia get to live in a beautifully maintained community.   Even with limited cost of living increases, this is a minimal amount.

Board Discussion:  Update on Plans to Renovate Supreme Sports Club-Phase 2

The work is continuing on this facility.  Locker rooms will begin renovation around September 15.    The pool is supposed to open in September.  The showers at Supreme are better on the 2nd floor.  The first floor showers are narrow.  Overall, this will be a beautiful new gym but most of the work isn’t interfering with users at this time.   Members will continue to be informed of what is happening.

Board Discussion:  Development Tracker

The Zoning Board held a hearing about the Hickory Ridge Village Center on Wednesday.  There will be an additional meeting on September 4.  Nothing has changed to the plans since 2018.  The residents sent an addendum to their response.  The apartments will be market rate, meaning they will not be inexpensive housing.

The current site plan reflects a modern plan.  The community of Hickory Ridge did to come to CA to ask for the Board to take a position on the plan. The Hickory Ridge Village Board is actively engaged in this planned development.   HRVB wants to support the development but apparently still wants changes.

Board Discussion:  Capital Projects and Open Space Updates

CA has many boardwalks.   They are starting to be replaced.  The goal is to replace two per year.  There are bridges over streams and boardwalks over wet areas.  A number of bridges are being replaced each year.  There are over 200 bridges.

There are a number of large trees that had to be taken down.  The cut trees are being used for stream restoration.  They are not being mulched nor wasted.

CA discontinued using Roundup 45 days ago.    This product is no longer used in our fair city.   Please do not allow anyone to use this.  It is a dangerous product.  Life is too precious to use a dangerous product.

Board Discussion:  Tying Advisory Committees’ Proposed Charges for FY2020 to One or More Strategic Priorities in CA’s Strategic Plan for FY2020-2024

There was discussion about the Board’s strategic planning goals and the advisory committees.  The Board needs to ask the committees, in their future reports, to tie their work to the strategic plans.  The committee plans need to demonstrate the value they add to the community. The Board liaisons should attend committee meetings and explain the plan and ask that their future reports be tied to the strategic plan.

Happy August.  There are no CA meetings in August.  Stay cool.

Nancy McCord
[email protected]